COUPLES RELATIONSHIPS In the beginning we believe we have found our other half, the person who completes us, who fills in the missing pieces. We feel whole. We feel loved. Time passes and we note gaps. The partner has some variations we did not expect. He or she does not always appreciate who we are or understand our needs and limitations. He or she does not always comfort us in our need. Our other half sometimes breaks away, resists, complains, withdraws, disappoints. We fall into mutual protest, or one of us protests while the other one flees. The worst is when both give up, and stop talking. Counselling starts by addressing the habitual pattern of mutual hurt. Both partners play a role, and both can identify the deterioration of discussions. Either one can quietly and lovingly suggest time out for the sake of the relationship. Both must be on board with this rescue tactic, willing to back off now, but committed to reunite and resume a more rational discussion later. Treating each other respectfully takes thought, self-control and practice. We may speak to our loved one in terms and tones we would never use with an acquaintance. That is because an acquaintance cannot hurt us. but words can be destructive and may never be forgotten. Listening is key. Responsive listening, especially reflecting of feelings, is the most helpful. Try to put yourself in his or her place. You may not agree with your partner's feelings. But you can try to know his or her history, hurts, scars. Your viewpoint is different. You would react differently in the same circumstances. But can you hear the other point of view? "Getting it" completely is impossible. Trying counts for a lot.
PARENTING Attachment Theory explains children's need for parental closeness and support starting at birth. seeking parental security. As they grow, children develop a sense of self. They need to explore, to learn, to master skills. They move back and forth between experimentation and the security of the parent. Trying new things can involve pushing against parental restrictions. Parents are constantly engaged in a balancing act between encouraging growth and limiting risk. As children mature, parents need ever more skills. They need to maintain expectations for safety and good behavior and also help develop children's independent judgement. Parents act as sounding boards for their child's ideas and feelings so that the child develops his or her own judgement. As every parent knows, different children respond differently. Even one child responds differently at times. Nothing works all of the time. Parents need many approaches. Reflective listening is one, well-know, basic approach to encourage children to talk through problems. The parent shows respect or the child's ideas by commenting on them with interest and asking leading questions. Teens often do not talk with their parents, so there is not much to reflect. Teens can also carry experimentation an confrontation to extremes. At those times parents need all their self control to remain calm and firm, to act as adult role models. Above all have some good fun with your child. Memories of happy, loving times are the glue that holds the relationship together when differences arise.
Partnership After the Affair, by Janis A. Spring (and sequels) Divorce Busting, by Michelle Weiner-Davis Hold Me Tight, by Sue Johnson Pairing, or The Intimate Enemy, by George Bach, Laura Torbet The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman The New Rules of Marriage, by Terrence Real The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by Gottman and Silver Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, by Mira Kirshenbaum Women Who Love Too Much, by Robin Norwood
Parenting Between Parent and Child, by Haim Ginot Children the Challange by Rudolf Dreikers Get Out of My Life . . . by Anthony Wolf How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, by Faber & Mazlish Kids Are Worth It, by Barbara Coloroso Parent Effectiveness Training by T. Gordon Raising Good Children by Thomas Lickona The Hyperactive Child Book, by Kennedy, Terdal and Fusetti What About the Kids, by Wallerstein and Blakeslee pathstonementalhealth.ca/services/workshops-parents-professionals